What Is a Blower Motor?

When troubleshooting HVAC issues, you might read the term “blower motor” and wonder how that fits into your system. This essential component acts as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the movement of heated and cooled air, so that your home stays comfortable during the whole year.

You don't have to appreciate every detail of your HVAC system to keep it running smoothly. Still, understanding at least something about the blower motor simplifies operation and occasional troubleshooting.

What Does a Blower Motor Do?

The blower motor in a forced-air heating and cooling system operates the fan that blows air around the inside of your home and pulls it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The types of HVAC systems that have blower motors include furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps and ductless mini-splits.

When your thermostat feels the temperature falling out of the set comfort zone, the blower motor springs into action. This turns on the fan, blowing hot or cold air out of the unit, through the ductwork—or right from the air handler in the case of a ductless system—and to your living space.

Where Is the Blower Motor Found?

The blower motor’s specific location depends on the type of system:

  • A furnace blower motor is commonly found in the base of the unit near the air filter.
  • An air conditioner typically shares the furnace’s blower motor to circulate cool air in the summer.
  • A heat pump blower motor is located in the air handler, the interior portion of this single-unit heating and cooling system.
  • A ductless mini-split blower motor is located in the wall-mounted unit, often behind the air handler casing.

Types of Blower Motors

Understanding the two main kinds of blower motors can help you choose the correct option for your home comfort needs.

  • A single-speed motor, as the name indicates, operates at one speed and turns off when the desired temperature is attained.
  • A variable-speed motor operates at a range of speeds, adapting the speed to changes in heating and cooling demands. This is generally the quieter, more energy-efficient option for homeowners. It also provides more consistent indoor temperatures for improved comfort.

Signs of a Blower Motor Gone Bad

If your home [isn’t feeling|doesn’t feel|suddenly isn’t]129] as comfy as usual, your blower motor might be the perpetrator. Watch out for these indications of a bad blower motor:

  • Weak or no airflow from vents: Weak airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, leading to discomfort and inefficiency. A complete loss of airflow might indicate total motor failure, which calls for prompt evaluation from an experienced HVAC professional like the team at Air Engineers Service Experts.
  • Odd noises: Unusual sounds like grinding or squealing are often warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only aggravating but can indicate impending breakdown.
  • Concerning odors: A burning smell could indicate an overheating motor, a serious issue requiring prompt intervention to prevent the problem from getting worse.
  • Increased energy expenses: A blower motor that has to operate harder than necessary because of an underlying issue uses more electricity. This inefficiency can cause a noticeable surge in your electric bills.
  • HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can happen when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical issue. This can trigger a total system breakdown if not addressed promptly.

What Causes Blower Motor Failure?

A blower motor can break down for many reasons, including:

  • Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong spots can result in catastrophe for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal hardware and lead to electrical shorts that can gravely impact the motor’s performance.
  • Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt clogging components of the motor can cause it to overheat or fail entirely.
  • Worn-out bearings: Bearings minimize friction in the motor. When they wear out, they overwork the motor, causing early failure.
  • Blower motor resistor or fan concerns: Problems with the resistor or fan can influence how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These issues can cause system inefficiencies and require Expert repair.
  • Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t correctly regulate the temperature, it may instead run continuously, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
  • Electrical challenges: Bad wiring or other electrical problems can lead to irregular motor operation or a total breakdown.
  • Old age: Like any mechanical equipment, blower motors have a finite life span. As they age, elements wear out and failure becomes more likely.

Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Air Engineers Service Experts

At Air Engineers Service Experts, nothing is of greater importance to us than your comfort. We offer years of experience, emergency response and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If your blower motor is giving you problems, or you want to prevent future problems before they start, please contact Air Engineers Service Experts. We’ll identify and solve the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment again. Schedule your appointment today by calling 904-450-5672!

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